Confessional: Reasons I’m a Prep

I think I might start a new category.  I was recently doused with the self-awareness the other day – by one of my lovely Colombian friends – that I am what you would describe as a “preppy girl”.  This never previously occurred to me as I am not, well, Whiteanglosaxonprotestant, but it seems I have somehow managed to slip into this category.  This is because:

1. I grew up listening to Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, and ’90’s Britney Spears.  And Hilary Duff was my role model.

2. I love reading Western classics: Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, the Bronte sisters, Oscar Wilde,…and of course, Harry Potter.

3. I just own way too many books.

4. All my outfits consist of neutral colors, sweaters, and flats.  When I was in grade school, I literally wore knee high socks, plaid skirts, and braids every day.  (I’m really surprised no one beat me up.)

5. I take academia way too seriously.

6. I drink a lot of coffee.

7. I do yoga and pilates.

8. I drink green juice, and go to farmers markets.

9. I love going to the beach.

10. I’m not able to use double negatives.  I just can’t pull it off.

Obvious reasons I’m kind of not a prep:

1. I have never gone “Greek.”

2. I don’t know shit, or give an F, about sports.

3. I wasn’t popular.  Being a Brown nerd just earns you a solitary seat at the lunch table.

4. I don’t wear any specific brands.  I just pull off the look with ordinary department store attire (ssshh!)

5. As you would probably tell by my hair, I am not Whiteanglosaxonprotestant.

6. I can actually shake my boo-tay.

I didn’t choose prep life.  Da prep life chose ME!


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8 Unexpected Ways You Get Other People to Hate You

Sometimes, it is predictable that certain traits and behaviors will earn you widespread hatred: e.g. calling someone a “stupidface”, stealing, cheating, double-dipping, sneezing in the library, etc.  However, sometimes, you might notice that a lot of people seem hostile towards you, even if you have done none of these things.  You have to start speculating why, what you may have done unintentionally that made you the object of scorn and dislike.  Well, over my several years of life experience, I noticed that that there are more subtle ways one can become hated.  Here is a list of some deplorable things I have seen other people do that made them the subject of widespread resentment.

1. Being attractive.

People love to hate attractive people.  This is because they subscribe to a rule of thumb that if one happens to be attractive, their good looks have to be balanced out by every bad personality trait in the book.  Attractive people are assumed to be dumb, mean, stuck-up, high maintenance, and lazy – and that they have only ever achieved anything by coasting on their looks.  Any flaws they do have, and any mistake they ever make, is completely unforgivable.

2. Being smart/hard-working/ambitious.

Do you have a 4.0 GPA and want to become a scientist?  If so, keep that information to yourself.  Nothing ticks off your average classmate more than when they see you get the honor roll and actually care about learning.  Every time they see you working hard towards your goals, it keeps reminding them that they are, well, average, and they might want to bring you down because of it.

3.  Being pretty AND smart.

Heaven help you!  Some people are deathly allergic to awesomeness.  On the bright side, this is where you find out who your real friends are.

4.  Being quiet.

You know what is worse than saying something totally rude and obnoxious?  Saying nothing at all.  I learned this from personal experience.  People resent people who are not outgoing, for some strange reason.  They automatically assume the worst of them – that they are mean, snobbish misanthropes.  People who love being at the center of attention cannot understand why you aren’t paying them any.  Being of a socially awkward nature whose perception of life is anything but normal, I always chose to keep to myself.  This only resulted in people harassing me with comments like, “Why are you so quiet???”, “You should talk more/open up/put yourself out there/come out of your shell!”  Because I am a people pleaser, I have obliged these people on many occasions, only to have people immediately weirded out by what I said.  Damned if I do, damned if I don’t!

5.  Standing up for yourself. 

Did someone try to take advantage of you and you didn’t let them?  Did you politely but firmly disagree with someone?  Did you JUST exhibit assertive behavior???  Congratulations, you are not a doormat, and some people like you less because of it.

6.  Being happy.

Are you secure and confident?  Are you not afraid to go after what you want?  Do you have a great job, healthy marriage, and a backyard with a white picket fence?  Did you just accomplish something cool, like publishing a book or visiting Paris?  Oooh, you’re going to get on some people’s nerves!

7. Dating whomever you want.

For some blasted reason, there are a lot of irrelevant people who think they have a stake in your dating choices.  You won’t believe the amount of hate random strangers minding their own business get for having a partner who is:

a.) of a (noticeably) different race/class/religion

b.) of the same sex

c.) who is not the person the observer wants it to be.

8.) Generally doing things that don’t affect other people.

The other day, someone scornfully called me “overly paranoid” for locking both the security lock and door lock on my front door, rather than just one.  Since when was it a crime to be paranoid and not want to get robbed?

A lot of people also seem to hate vegans, vegetarians, people who recycle, and people who do yoga.  Be careful – you can also be hated for liking/not liking certain types of music, feeding store-bought cupcakes to your kids, being a redhead, being a millennial, and minding your own business.

In other words, some people give too many F’s.  My takeaways: always strive to be considerate, but don’t stop being awesome.  Don’t forget to post pictures of your awesome life on Facebook.  Haterzzz…(you know how the rest goes.)

(Edit: Added 2 more.)

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For the Clueless Guys

Something I often hear about, and from, guys is that men are “clueless” and “oblivious” to signals that a girl is interested in them.  I understand that the realm of nonverbal communication and differences in personalities is very nebulous.  However, this statement got me thinking about how I act, or have acted, around guys I’m crushing on.  I can definitely say that I act VERY differently around guys I like vs. guys I don’t have a crush on.  I came up with three basic behaviors I tend to do only around guys I’m interested in.  I should make a caveat that girls do vary across the spectrum of shy and outgoing, and I fall into the former sphere.  This means that I tend to not be as forward or direct as my more outgoing counterparts, and usually try to be coy about things.  This is why for me, nonverbal cues, if you happen to pick up on them, are very telling.

1.)  I touch my hair.

This is probably the most obvious indicator, and practiced by many other women as well.  In general, I have a lot of nervous energy when talking to my crush, and use the fidgety energy to twirl/flip/run my fingers through my hair.  I never randomly touch my hair when talking to anyone else.

2. I try to bring attention to my lips.

This sounds weird, but it’s something I do semi-unconsciously.  I will protrude them into a semi-pout (it’s supposed to look sexy, I swear!), lick them, or bite my lower lip.  Again, this is just another outlet for nervous sexual energy, indicating that my lips really want to kiss your lips.  Just like in the last point, my lips are the last thing I care about when talking to anyone else.  When talking to my crush, I suddenly become aware of them.

3. I tilt my head to the right whilst trying to flash my cutest/most enthusiastic smile.

The head tilt, usually coupled with a smile, is another uber-obvious signal that a woman is trying her darndest to unleash her cute charms onto you.  So pay attention, boys!  Her smile is so sincere that her eyes crinkle and her cheekbones look like they are going to pop out.  When speaking to mere mortals, my head usually remains in its default position – upright.  However, when speaking to the man of my dreams, I look kind of drunk.  That should make things clear.

So there you have three tell-tale nonverbal signs that I (as well as some other girls) have the hots for you.  And then there are the obvious factors like she seems like she enjoys being around you, is reciprocating conversation you, laughing at your jokes (whether or not they are actually good), etc. etc.

What do you think, ladies?  And for the fellas, I hope this has helped you somewhat!

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Straight Hair Privilege

There is a serious issue that has been pressing me as of late.  It is definitely a societal issue that needs to be addressed.  Therefore, I will just come right out and say it.  As someone who is of the bushy, frizzy-haired variety, I notice that straight-haired people don’t realize how damned privileged they are.  Here is my list of grievances:

1.) The most obvious aspect: Straight hair is considered the norm and the default.  It is the featured texture in every advertisement, TV show, film, etc.  The other day I Googled “hair cuts for people with wavy hair” and just got a bunch of images of women who didn’t actually have wavy/curly hair, but of women with straight hair that was styled into waves.

2.) Straight-haired people get to save a significant amount of time, money, and effort.  Being simultaneously voluminous and confused as to what shape it wants to assume (it is neither wavy nor curly, but kind of both), my hair – no matter how many times I brush it – looks naturally messy.  I do everything in my power to tame it: leave-in conditioners, serums, special shampoo and conditioner brands with features like “moisturizing, keratin-enhanced, sleek-and-shine properties”; hair dryers, the most recent cutting-edge iron-straightener technology, etc.  Yet, I still get asked every now and then whether I ever brush my hair.  Every time I hear a straight-haired beeyotch claim that her hair is “frizzy this morning” because she didn’t have time to blow-dry it, I send mental voodoo curses her way.

3.) For the occasional formal event, conference, or job interview, I have to take 3 hours out of my day to make a hair salon appointment and enjoy the pain of the hairdresser aggressively tugging on my hair, getting my scalp burned, and subsequently getting charged extra for the excess products and time used to force my hair to defy its natural tendencies.  And this is to just look acceptably decent.

4.) My hair is considered unprofessional.

5.) Wondering if my significant other will still love me in spite of my hair.

6.) I can never wear my hair down (for the reasons stated above.)  It is always tied back or plaited.  Otherwise, it will look like I got electrocuted.

7.) I suddenly become hydrophobic, and water/rain is seen as the enemy.  There is nothing worse than going through an experience like #3 and walking outside to be greeted by a monsoon rainfall.  And I have to be veeery careful in the bath/shower after doing my hair because the tiniest drop of moisture will flush my appointment money down the toilet.

8.) My hair is the butt of a lot of jokes.


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Annoying American Tourists in Europe

I’m baaack!  (For now.)

I briefly emerged from grad school studies to enjoy a short and quick Europe-trek during my semester break.  I had a fabulous time, but learned quickly that a good traveling companion is hard to find.  My ideal travel companion is one that is adventurous, fun, flexible, and has a matched, if not more, curiosity for the wonders of foreign lands.  I was fortunate enough to have a couple of these along with me on this trip.  However, there were some I wish I left behind.  Since we all fall under the category of “American tourists”, here is a list of what I discovered to be some of the weird/annoying behaviors we exhibit whilst travelling to Europe.

1.) The traveler who is too lazy/hung-over to sightsee.

This person takes one morning trip to the Eiffel Tower and wants to spend the rest of the day napping and/or vegging out in front of the hotel TV or Wi-Fi.  Why this person made an expenditure on an airplane ticket for halfway across the world is beyond me.  I don’t know about you, but I came here to see and learn about new places, have adventures, and gain new experiences.  Maybe even learn a little bit of a foreign language.  What is the big deal about Facebook?  What was the need to clear out the mini-bar and drink yourself into hallucination until 4 a.m.?  I mean, we’re in EUROPE!

2.) The travelers whose idea of traveling is shopping.

You are in the land of centuries-old history, palaces of historic royals and political leaders, magnificent mosques and cathedrals, a whole new culture, and you want to spend your trip at a shopping mall?  This person definitely ranks on my list as the most annoying person to travel with.  This is because there are times where I have to sacrifice chunks of my sight-seeing schedule to standing by while said companion stares at racks and racks of dresses and purses, when she could have just stayed at home to do the same thing.  Besides, you are not exactly getting a great deal out of buyng Zara items in euros than in dollars.  While shopping for souvenirs and products unique to the region is part of the experience, there are too many who dedicate their travels to commercial shopping.

3.) The traveler who, despite being amongst some of the finest coffeeshops in Europe, still complains that they miss their daily $5 Starbucks latte.

In most coffeeshops in Austria and Italy, an espresso and a café latte cost about the same: 1 euro.  This is because Europeans have the sense not to charge, say, an extra 2 euros for frothy milk (the way Starbucks will charge an extra $3.50.)  This is also about the same amount it takes to enjoy a café latte, delicious cappuccino, or just any beverage of your choice in a beautiful, antique Viennese coffeeshop once frequented by Sigmund Freud.  Tourists who hop to the neighboring Starbucks to buy a 5-euro latte in a paper cup need to be eliminated!

I’m sure this is not an exhaustive list on silly American tourist behavior, but these frequent ones continue to baffle me.  However, other than this, I still loved Europe, and would like to return some day as a new and improved tourist.

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It is our choi…

It is our choices…that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities. — J.K. Rowling

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“Perhaps those …

“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”

~J.K. Rowling

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